Get personalized career counselling from an IIT Bombay topper & ex-McKinsey consultant
Learn more

5 Reasons why you are not getting that job interview call

Why am I not getting job interview calls

Urgent Requirement for a candidate who can wear a dark costume resembling a bat, fight crimes, drive an insanely awesome car and doesn’t have any unexplained fear of the circus and its jokers.

Salary: That wonderful feeling.
Bruce Wayne may have jumped right out of his plush chair to find this oh so right job on, and sent in his resume.

Although expecting to be called back, to be the future Dark Knight, he may have been frustrated, instead, for weeks and months. And in spite of repeated assurances from his trusted butler, Endure Master Wayne, this situation may have slowly taken the goodwill drive out of him.

Of course, he would have still had his million dollar enterprise to fall back on…but what about you?

One look at the various job postings on HeadHonchos, LinkedIn, TimesJobs, Naukri, Monster, Vampire, Werewolves, Robert, Kristen and all Twilight sagas can make you very frustrated with your life. Just that the first five are especially frustrating. At least with the rest, you still know how the story goes everyone dies in the end.

But what about those hundreds and thousands of job postings that you have been feverishly clicking away? Why are you still waiting to read those three wonderful words, You’ve been selected, that make your heart sing? Why is it that your neighbor next door, that guy who used the entire undergraduate curriculum as a polite suggestion, is getting promoted while you are still looking for a permanent position?

Are you doing something wrong or are you being horribly wronged?

Let’s explore the five factors that could be possibly putting a kibosh on your aspirations.

Why don’t I get interview calls?

5 Reasons why recruiters aren’t calling you back


1. Your Resume and Cover Letter

You know how you are on a first date? You dress well and you speak well just to impress? It is a routine song and dance to look interesting, as long as you are interested. Well, your resume and cover letters do pretty much the same thing, for you, without the added cost of wine and dine.

Your intention is to impress the recruiter. So dress your resume with facts relevant to the job. Customize the letter to show you care. Don’t expect a call back if you are a fanatic CCCV’er (Ctrl C Ctrl V), sending in that generic letter to all jobs.

Your application might be the 167th one being reviewed. So while it doesn’t have to be pink in color or specially scented, it needs to be interesting…interesting for the position applied.

So good luck getting a call if you mention only your PhD in smarts and that dinner with Stephen Hawking while failing to mention the expertise in making crépes when applying for the post of Sous-Chef at Le CigareVolone. How about taking the time out and reading what they want in a candidate? It may seem like too much work, but beats being out of one.

Highlight, not embellish, your skills and experiences catering to the particular job. Most applications are sent to a resume-robot sniffing for keywords. Many good candidates may simply get lost if the android is fed with irrelevant information.

And just like you don’t want your date to catch you with spinach stuck in your teeth, you don’t want to luck out because of a guffaw in your grammar or spelling. Have a clever friend proof-read your resume, and not you’re resume.
Read these articles – 1. Resume skills and 2. Why resume tips & tricks don’t help – for writing better resumes.

2. Follow the job application instructions

When a job posting asks you to go take three turns about the yard and do five spot jumps before applying in Latin, they are only looking to see if you can follow instructions. Bypassing them will make you look like a rebel, most certainly without a cause.

And please don’t badger the recruiters with questions, after the fact. Too much eagerness will go off like a warning sign to them. Who needs a pesky coworker who can’t sit still?

3. Information that needs sharing

Show restrain when it comes to too much information. It is a fatal mistake to have an over inflated opinion of yourself. So don’t make your application five dossier long, unless of course they have asked for it.

Same goes for asking salaries. Wouldn’t we all love to be overpaid? But just as asking for too much is a bad sign, asking too little will show them how little research you have done about the job.

Give the recruiters a succinct explanation of the year you took off for finding yourself. Writing things like took time off for family or traveling is enough to show them that you acknowledge the break without being too apologetic about it.

You don’t need to start explaining how it had been your lifelong dream to spend six months meditating in the Himalayas.

4. Have you explored other avenues?

You know, referrals work. They work for both in your favor and the friend who is referring from inside the company. Psst! She gets money if you make the cut.

The problem with online mass applications is that they are, you read it, en masse. They do very little to make your application stand out from the crowd.

Most job openings start off with internal selections so if your friend can sniff one out for you, jump on it.

LinkedIn and other social media are also great places to find people within corporations. Please don’t take this as a hint that it is okay to stalk.

Enquiring about posts, through recruiters, is a good idea but be careful to not come across as that pesky over-eager applicant mentioned before.

5. This one is not on you

Sometimes a company might post a job tailored to the profile of the employee they have already hired. This is done to show government agencies that there could be no one else who could fit in the shoes of the ideal candidate. Basic CYA, Cover Your Assets…or something terribly close to that.

Often corporations may foresee a recruitment down the line and hoard applications until they actually do. So you might be waiting for three years until that call comes in.

And often you may be one among 50 really eligible candidates and would be left out only because of some arbitrary parameter chosen to filter out a set number of candidates they can afford to interview.

You may also want to check out some details on how the hiring process works.
At the end of the day, we all want the chance to be considered and show our mettle. Getting a job and even being considered for a position are easily some of the biggest achievements in ones’ life.

But going through the experience of the whole application process and the stress of rejections are heartaches we would certainly wish to avoid from being repeated over and over again.

So while there can be no magical potion that can make recruiters fall in love with us, the least we can do is do our bit to increase our chances of getting hired.

You may be the perfect fit for a job, but the recruiter doesn’t necessarily know that. You could be the wannabe Batman, waiting for that call, wondering if anyone ever read your resume titled Bruce Wayne ­The Awe Full Vigilante…
References: 1, 2, 3 | Pic source:

Watch this video to learn how you can become an entrepreneur at a young age

Rakhi Acharyya
About Rakhi Acharyya
Rakhi is a freelance writer, a Physics PhD from Michigan State University, an ex-teacher and a former employee of Corporate America. Follow her on Twitter.

3 thoughts on “5 Reasons why you are not getting that job interview call”

  1. Very useful article!
    There are also the meek and the mild, who habitually underplay it. It’s not hard to find people who shy relevant facts away, and are less assertive in their CV and in other ways.

  2. Good one. The challenge is to get someone’s attention when they have hundreds of resumes and can only probably spare a 60 second glance but still manage to include enough details to tick all the boxes. Even if it makes the first cut, it is still an uphill task to convince the next layer that one deserves a chance in the form of an interview. Job adverts often do not lay out that recruitment team is considering a very specific criteria or some “good to have” experiences laid out in the end is actually what they are keen on. You may have experience with something similar, but your resume is too generic or not clear enough, for that particular skillset – “worked on java projects”, “experience with Matlab” or “financial analysis of infrastructure projects” gives no clue on your level of expertise or complexity of projects/tasks handled. Then it is a matter of chance if they want to explore further.


Leave a Comment